Graduate recruitment stutters as apprenticeships take off

Growth in university leaver vacancies is slowing, AGR study suggests

March 9, 2016
Go-kart race

Growth in graduate recruitment has slowed while the number of apprenticeship vacancies has soared, new research suggests.

A survey of large employers by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) found that the number of apprenticeship opportunities offered by these firms has increased by 24 per cent year-on-year, while graduate vacancies grew by just 2 per cent.

This marks a slowdown in graduate positions compared with last year, when employers in the survey increased their intake of university leavers by 13 per cent.

The number of internship vacancies rose by 8 per cent year-on-year.

However, the survey of 86 UK businesses showed that graduates still make up the vast majority of post-study recruitment.

This year, the firms were looking to fill more than 14,000 graduate positions, plus 5,000 internships and 3,000 apprenticeships.

Stephen Isherwood, the chief executive of the AGR, said that apprenticeship recruitment was expanding “on a much larger scale than we’d anticipated”.

“We don’t know what the long-term effects will be, but this isn’t a case of employers’ cannibalising their graduate schemes,” Mr Isherwood said. “We’re hearing that businesses view the two groups very separately and that they are complementary.

“Employers are engaging earlier and opening their doors to a wider group of people by presenting alternative options.”  

This year’s apprenticeship vacancies represent 1 per cent of AGR members’ workforce, on average, compared with about 2 per cent for graduates.

The survey found that half of the 22,000 roles in the survey were yet to be filled, with IT, law and financial management proving particularly hard to recruit into.

“It’s a candidate’s market at the moment, and employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill roles,” Mr Isherwood added. “We’re seeing nearly one in ten offers reneged as candidates pull out at the last minute for alternative positions.”

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD Position in Archaeology and Cultural History

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Energy and Process Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Energy and Process Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Industrial Energy Efficiency

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Postdoc in Traffic Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes